I'm always on the hunt for new inspiration and when I decided to start a new design project based on blue and white pottery, I headed off to the Ashmolean museum in Oxford to get inspired.
Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is the museum of art and archeology for the University of Oxford. It contains collections ranging form Egyptian mummies to modern art and is a great place to spend a few hours pottering about and getting inspired. I love the modern interior which marries perfectly with the traditional architecture of the exterior.
I spent most of my time on the second floor which is called 'West Meets East'. It showcases ceramics from China, Japan and Europe as well as many other amazing items.
It wasn't until I started looking properly that I realised how many cultures have used blue and white pottery through history. It makes it amazingly varied as a project idea.
I'm always looking for an interesting motif or a novel layout. I love the simple yet sophisticated placement of the image on the plate, above left. The floral uses up a small amount of the plate, so that the negative space is just as important as the image itself. The plate below uses a stunning image of a dragon. I'm now wondering how I could incorporate a dragon into one of my designs!
I love the shape of the two vases below and could see them working well as circular cushion designs.
Most collections I design contain three or four main designs, but the collection also holds together better with smaller co-ordinates. The two images below show some great co-ordinate ideas. The plate on the left almost has the feel of a patchwork design, incorporating a selection of small geometrics.
I love the idea of combining cultures within one collection and enjoy the challenge of how I approach this, whilst creating an interesting and cohesive group. Below is a little taster of my first design for this blue and white collection - a selection of blue and white pottery!